The Melbourne suburban network will benefit from a number of enhancements which will support the initial phase of Public Transport Victoria's 30-year Network Development Plan – Metropolitan Rail unveiled on March 27. These include:

  • a $A 177m order for eight Alstom X'Trapolis emus, which will enter service from 2015, together with associated stabling and signalling works
  • $A 66m to upgrade Ringwood station
  • $A 2m to plan the procurement of high-capacity trains, which will accommodate more than 1100 passengers
  • $A 4.5m towards the High Capacity Signalling pilot project on the Sandringham Line
  • $A 100m to upgrade the Frankston Line, including improvements to track, signalling, power supplies, stations, and maintenance facilities
  • $A78m for additional staffing at stations, and
  • funding for a new station at Southland.

However, the budget also highlights the funding challenges facing key projects in the Network Development Plan. Just $A 10m has been allocated towards the 9km Melbourne Metro tunnel, a core component of the plan which is considered vital for the introduction of high-frequency metro-style services. The government has declined to give a start date for this project, arguing that further planning is required, and other new lines, including the links to Avalon Airport, Doncaster, and Rowville are now conditional on the tunnel being constructed first.

On the V/Line regional network the state government has agreed to fund new stations at Grovedale Station on the Geelong line ($A 22m) and Epsom in Bendigo ($A 9m), while $A 62m has been allocated towards the Non-Urban Train Radio Renewal Project.